Thursday, December 31, 2009

Midnight is Rapidly Approaching!

The year is nearly gone. And, I am so far behind in posting my sunset photos to my web albums, and writing about them here, that I am ashamed. Like you, I've been very busy. This has been a very stressful year. But, I wanted to make sure to get one last blog entry done before 2010 begins. So, here goes ...
I think I'll just keep this one simple, and show a few recent photos. This first one is to show that, yes, we have still been having beautiful sunsets here in Florence. And, yes, I have been out photographing them. This is one is from my 'near backyard.'

This next series was taken just two nights ago, and far, far away from my home. I have wanted to drive into the Superstition Mountains for some sunset photos for quite a while. But, that is about 40 miles, and an hour, from my home. Since you never know whether there will be a good sunset or not, I've been a little hesitant to just up and drive there. But, this looked like a very promising day. So, off I went. I drove about a mile off US60 on the Peralta Road, and stopped beside the road. There is some really beautiful desert all around there. I've been back in here several times in the past, to hike the Peralta trail. I did it again about a month ago.

Make sure to click on these images to view them larger.

This first picture turned out pretty good. This is the Superstition Mountains with the setting sun shining on them. The desert is real pretty, and the clouds are great.

The sunset wasn't too bad, either. I really like having the cactus forest to shoot through.

And now comes the surprising part. After the sun goes down, it gets dark. (That's not the surprising part!) In the following shot, the clouds are being illuminated by the city lights of Phoenix. I see that effect all the way down in Florence, so that didn't surprise either. Remember, it was dark. There was nearly a full moon hidden above the clouds behind me, which provided enough light to see (kinda) where I was walking even without a flashlight. Did I mention that it was dark? And, did I mention that there was a breeze?

Since it was rather dark, I set my camera aperature to F8 so a long exposure would be required. The first shot below was 25 seconds, and the last one was 30 seconds. I normally shoot at ISO100, but for these shots I changed to ISO400.

The breeze was moving the clouds, and that caused a blur in the image that has produced a fantastic 3D effect in the images. You can see that the cactus is still and in focus, and so are the stars in the sky. Just the clouds are blured.

I just love this effect, and I think I will be trying to duplicate it much more in the future.

Meanwhile, thanks for reading, and I pray that God will bless you with a wonderful New Year.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Roger,
    Just came across your site and I have to say that your photos are fantastic! I have a Lumix TZ5 camera myself and I love it. Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your shots and keep up the great work!